Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Body Mass and Social Class: A Comparison of Finland and Sweden in the 1990s

Ossi Rahkonen, Olle Lundberg, Eero Lahelma and Minna Huuhka
Journal of Public Health Policy
Vol. 19, No. 1 (1998), pp. 88-105
DOI: 10.2307/3343091
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3343091
Page Count: 18
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Body Mass and Social Class: A Comparison of Finland and Sweden in the 1990s
Preview not available

Abstract

High physical weight affects public health as well as people's social relations. This study seeks to examine the distribution of physical weight across the social structure in Finland and Sweden in the early 1990s. We compare physical weight, classified by overweight and obesity, 1) between men and women, 2) between different age groups, and 3) between social classes in these two countries. Comparable interview surveys were conducted in Finland 1994 (N = 8,650, response rate 73%) and in Sweden 1991 (N = 5,306, response rate 79%). Physical weight, overweight and obesity of populations are described in terms of body mass index (BMI = weight (kg) / height (m2)). The average BMI is higher in Finnish men (25.6) and women (24.6) than in their Swedish counterparts (24.6 and 23.2, respectively). In both countries, the average BMI is higher in men than in women below the age of about 55-64 years. In both countries and in both genders the average BMI is higher, the higher the age. The level of overweight as well as obesity is lower in Sweden than in Finland. Social class differences can be found in both countries. The odds ratio for overweight is higher in Finnish male and female farmers (OR = 1.57 and 1.94, respectively) as compared to upper white collars (OR = 1.0). In Sweden, high odds ratio for overweight can be found among male entrepreneurs (OR = 1.80) and female unskilled manuals (OR = 2.65). Obesity varies by social class in Swedish men and women as well as in Finnish women, but not in Finnish men. The results show that Finnish men and women are more often overweight and obese than their Swedish counterparts, but social class differences in overweight and obesity are larger in Sweden than in Finland.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
88
    88
  • Thumbnail: Page 
89
    89
  • Thumbnail: Page 
90
    90
  • Thumbnail: Page 
91
    91
  • Thumbnail: Page 
92
    92
  • Thumbnail: Page 
93
    93
  • Thumbnail: Page 
94
    94
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[95]
    [95]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[96]
    [96]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[97]
    [97]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
98
    98
  • Thumbnail: Page 
99
    99
  • Thumbnail: Page 
100
    100
  • Thumbnail: Page 
101
    101
  • Thumbnail: Page 
102
    102
  • Thumbnail: Page 
103
    103
  • Thumbnail: Page 
104
    104
  • Thumbnail: Page 
105
    105